The new Miss SC USA and Miss SC Teen USA have been crowned

November 19, 2017 GMT

The new queens have been crowned.

Miss SC USA Tori Sizemore, representing Golden Corner, and Miss SC Teen USA Elizabeth Self, representing the Upstate, will move on to represent South Carolina in the national Miss USA pageants next year.

As the winner was announced for Miss SC USA, a hush came over the crowd at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

“You ladies want to hold hands or anything?” asked Master of Ceremonies Tim Tialdo to break the tension. “I know that’s what they usually like to do. It helps the nerves or something.”

Tori Sizemore, an Anderson University graduate and the oldest of seven children, appeared thrilled, shedding tears in her sparkling gold evening gown after former title-holder Megan Gordon placed the crown on her head.

New Miss SC Teen USA Elizabeth Self seemed equally thrilled as former title-holder Alexis Johnson passed off the tiara. Self has, interestingly enough, flown a World War II biplane and is in the Clemson women’s chorus.

Among the smiles and tears, the stage backdrop shimmered. Decor included a dazzling chandelier, four majestic columns, a dangling gold ornate picture frame and draped vines with white lights.

The finale evening began with a Taylor Swift song, playing in pop waves and energizing the crowd.

“The music’s getting faster and heart beats are getting harder,” said Tialdo as eliminations first began, narrowing down each category to the top 15 women.

Peacock feathers, fairy wings and flower crowns were among eccentric wear for the contestants’ opening outfits as audience family members and friends cheered for their favorites, holding up signs, shaking noisemakers and waving glowsticks.

Some Citadel cadets even made an appearance, lending the heel-wearing women an arm as they climbed the stage steps, transitioning from opening outfits to sports and swim wear to evening gowns.

A handful of local favorites made each of the three cutoff rounds, including Miss Folly Beach Teen Lindsay Holley in the top 15 for her division. In the Miss division, there were several Charleston area representatives. The list included Miss Edisto Beach Paige Holloway and Miss Daniel Island Karson Terrell in the top 15, Miss Charleston Lindsey Lambrakos in the top 10 and Miss Kiawah Island Bailey Rogers in the top 5 and finishing as the second runner up.

Yet, in the end, Golden Corner and Upstate South Carolina took home the tiaras.